ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

Sedona Red Recap: D-backs’ Zack Greinke pitches masterfully in win over White Sox

May 22, 2017, 10:33 PM

Arizona Diamondbacks' Zack Greinke, left, celebrates a victory against the Chicago White Sox with D...

Arizona Diamondbacks' Zack Greinke, left, celebrates a victory against the Chicago White Sox with David Peralta (6) after the final out in the ninth inning of a baseball game Monday, May 22, 2017, in Phoenix. The Diamondbacks defeated the White Sox 5-1. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX — Asked before the game how he feels when Zack Greinke pitches, Torey Lovullo smiled.

It wasn’t an ear-to-ear grin, but a smile nonetheless. An appreciative smile.

“I feel really good about each time he steps on the mound,” the Arizona Diamondbacks’ first-year manager said.

Lovullo was still smiling after the game.

Greinke (6-2) came within one out of a complete game and the D-backs beat the Chicago White Sox, 5-1, to win the opener of the three-game series in front of an announced crowd of 18,333 at Chase Field on Monday.

Archie Bradley recorded the final out, throwing one pitch, officially ending the White Sox’s three-game winning streak.

Greinke set season-highs in innings pitched (8.2) and strikeouts (12) as he limited the White Sox to one run on four hits to post his fourth win in as many starts.

He leads the National League with 78 strikeouts.

Greinke retired the first seven batters of the game and 13 of 14 overall before Leury Garcia homered in the fifth inning. It was Greinke’s lone mistake of the night.

Offensively, the D-backs got home runs from Daniel Descalso and Paul Goldschmidt. Descalso hit a three-run shot.

The D-backs have hit 16 home runs over their last seven home games.

Chicago starter Miguel Gonzalez (3-5) served up both long balls in his five-plus innings of work. He’s lost five straight after a 3-0 start to the season.

At 27-19, the D-backs, winners of six of seven, are a season-best eight games over .500, and they’ve matched their best home start (19-8) in franchise history through 27 games.

THE GOOD

Through three innings, Greinke had recorded five strikeouts. All five hitters went down swinging, including Yolmer Sanchez, who was fanned twice. Greinke struck out a pair in both the first and third innings. Of the 36 pitches he threw, 25 were strikes with eight first-pitch strikes to the 10 total batters faced.

In his second at-bat of the game, Goldschmidt extended two different streaks with his fourth-inning, one-out single to left field. He has now hit safely in nine consecutive games against American League opponents. He has also reached base safely in 30 consecutive home games, one shy of his career-long.

Almost two months into the season and Descalso is halfway to matching his career-high home run total of eight, which he set a year ago with Colorado. Descalso hit No. 4, ripping the first pitch he saw, a 78-mph curveball, into the pool area for a two-out, three-run home run in the fourth inning.

Leading off the sixth inning, Goldschmidt put a charge into a two-strike, 91-mph fastball that landed in the seats in left field for his 11th home run of the season—tied with Jake Lamb for most on the team—and extend the D-backs’ lead to 4-1. It was Goldschmidt’s ninth homer in his last 29 games.

THE BAD

For the seventh consecutive start, Greinke allowed a home run. It came in the fifth inning. With one out, Garcia lifted a 70-mph curveball high and over the right-field fence for the White Sox first run of the game. It was his fifth of the season and 10th surrendered by Greinke in 62.2 innings at that moment.

Though he had been swinging the bat well recently, Jeff Mathis struck out twice and hit into a double-play in his three plate appearances. Let’s examine the third at-bat: With the bases loaded, no outs and a chance to add more runs to their five-run total, Mathis grounded into the rally-killing 5-2-3 double play.

STAT OF THE GAME

6: Greinke is unbeaten over his last six starts during which he has a 2.55 ERA with 58 strikeouts to six walks in 42.1 total innings.

HE SAID IT

“Great night for Zack,” said Lovullo, who was booed when he removed Greinke from the game. “He kept a very offensive team, as of late, in check. He was making all sorts of pitches. The slider-changeup combination off a spotted up and aggressive fastball set the tone the tone for his entire outing. It was another Zack moment for us, something that we’re really leaning on every fifth day.”

NOTED

– Greinke threw a first-pitch strike to 20-of-30 batters faced and reached a three-ball count just three times.

– Greinke recorded his 27th career game of 10 or more strikeouts, and it marked the third time this season.

– Lamb went 1-for-3 with a walk, and he is now batting .441 (15-for-34) with 12 RBI in his last nine games.

– Gregor Blanco went 2-for-4, and he has now reached base safely in six of his eight starts on the season.

– With a first-pitch temperature of 103 degrees, the game was played with the roof open but panels closed.

– The D-backs and White Sox are meeting for the first time since a series in Chicago from May 9-11, 2014.

– The White Sox are making their first trip to Chase Field since winning two of three from June 17-19, 2011.

UP NEXT

The series continues with left-hander Patrick Corbin looking to even his win-loss record on the season. He takes the mound opposite rookie right-hander Dylan Covey in game two of the three-game set on Tuesday. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. with pregame coverage beginning 40 minutes earlier on 98.7 FM, Arizona’s Sports Station.

Corbin (3-4) is unbeaten in his last two starts, though he allowed four runs in each appearance against the Pirates and Mets, respectively. He also threw six innings, something he’s now done in seven of nine outings.

Corbin has never faced the White Sox.

Meanwhile, Covey (0-3) will try once again to record his first big-league victory. This will be his eighth attempt.

Selected by the White Sox from Oakland in the 2016 Rule 5 Draft, Covey has not factored in the decision in either of his last two starts. Most recently, he allowed four runs on five hits, including a pair of home runs, with three walks and one strikeout at Seattle.

Opponents have hit 11 home runs off Covey, tied for the third-most in the American League.

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